Brazos Parent Loan Overview
Parent loans for college are loans borrowed by a student’s parent, grandparent, or guardian or other credit-worthy person to help finance their education. Brazos Parent Loans can cover up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance, less other financial aid received.
Brazos Parent Loans allow parents or other creditworthy individuals, who are Texas residents, to finance a benefiting student's undergraduate or graduate education at one of over 2,000 eligible schools nationwide. The benefiting student does not have to be a resident of Texas.
Currently, Brazos only lends to residents of Texas. The student beneficiary can reside anywhere in the U.S. and must be attending an eligible school in the U.S.
If you’re not a Texas resident, we can still help.
You may borrow up to the cost of attendance, less other financial aid received, as certified by the school your student is attending. The minimum loan amount is $1,000.
Yes, Brazos Parent Loans for college can be used to cover any school-certified costs, including tuition, housing, books and more. All loan proceeds, however, will be disbursed to the school. See the "Certifying the Cost of Attendance" section for more details.
Yes. Unlike the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan, the Brazos Parent Loan is available to help any student, not just a dependent. Typical borrowers may include parents, grandparents, spouses, other family members or friends with strong credit histories that want to give the gift of education to a loved one.
Yes. Unlike the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan, the Brazos Parent Loan is available to help pay for a benefiting student's graduate degree. The Brazos Parent Loan is a great option to help pay for law school, medical school, dental school, an MBA or other advanced degree programs.
See our comparison chart here.
Brazos is a Texas nonprofit student loan company that has been helping Texas families finance the cost of their college education for over 40 years. Brazos is not affiliated with any school, and as a nonprofit, our goal is to save you money by offering the most competitive rates possible. For additional information about Brazos, check out our About Us page.
Parent Loan Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for Brazos Parent Loans for college, you must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen or National or a non-citizen with government-issued, non-expired documentation of permanent resident status, or if applying with an Eligible Cosigner, a non-citizen with a work or student visa.
- Be a Texas resident and be at least 18 years old. (Not a Texas resident?)
- Be applying to finance the education of a student who is enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at one of over 2,000 eligible schools nationwide.
- Apply for an amount that is certified by the school your student is attending. (See the "Certifying the Cost of Attendance" section of the FAQs)
- Have a verified income and a strong credit history.
- Demonstrate the ability to support the repayment of the new loan.
- Must provide one reference. The reference cannot have the same full name as the cosigner.
Please review our Eligibility Criteria for further details.
If your credit history does not meet our minimum credit criteria, in most cases, you may still qualify by applying with a qualified cosigner. Additionally, even if you meet the minimum requirements, applying with a cosigner who has a stronger credit history may reduce the interest rate on your parent loan even further, thereby saving you more money over the life of the loan.
We do not offer a cosigner release program. However, in the future, if you feel your credit has improved or that you would otherwise qualify by yourself, you may apply to refinance your loan without a cosigner.
Yes. If you default on your Brazos Parent Loan and have a cosigner, your cosigner will be liable to pay your loan.
No. The loan will be in your name and cannot be transferred to your benefiting student.
Brazos Parent Loan Options
We offer variable and fixed rate loans with multiple repayment terms available.
Variable rate loans carry an interest rate that is recalculated periodically based on a market index rate plus a set number of percentage points. The interest you pay on these loans may increase or decrease after it has been originated, depending upon changes to that market index rate. Because the rate may change, your payment may vary over the life of the loan as well. Variable rate loans tend to be less expensive at the beginning of the loan than comparable fixed rate loans of the same term.
Fixed rate loans carry a set interest rate and payment for the life of the loan. This provides predictable payments for the borrower. Because fixed rate loans create some interest rate risk for the lender, fixed interest rates tend to be higher at the beginning of the loan than comparable variable rate loans.
No, unlike the Federal Direct PLUS program, we do not charge any origination fees or application fees. Additionally, we do not charge prepayment penalties, and borrowers may prepay their loans at any time.
Fixed Rates. The interest rate for a fixed-rate parent loan depends on your credit profile and the length of repayment term that you select for the loan. The rate will remain constant for the life of the loan, except for periods where you may take advantage of the Auto-Pay Discount.
Variable Rates. Variable Rate is equal to the ”Rate Index”, which is a market rate index established by the lender (which will be described fuly in your credit agreement), as described below plus the margin. The Variable Rate may change after origination if the Rate Index changes.on the first day of the calendar month after the Rate Index is determined (a “Change Date”). In no event will the Variable Rate exceed 9.90%. A change in the Variable Rate will cause the monthly payment amount to change.
Please visit our Parent Loan Rates & Terms for more information about our interest rate options.
Borrowers who prefer predictable payments generally choose fixed rate loans. However, whether you choose a fixed or variable interest rate really depends on your particular financial situation.
Yes, we offer a 0.25% rate reduction (the "Auto-Pay Discount") when you sign up with your loan servicer to have your payments automatically drafted from your bank account. Failure to make payments may result in the loss of the 0.25% Auto-Pay Discount. You may requalify for the Auto-Pay Discount upon reauthorization of automatic payments from a valid bank account. The Auto-Pay Discount will not apply during periods of deferment or forbearance. Once your loan disburses, you may contact your loan servicer, Firstmark Services, a division of Nelnet, to enroll in this program.
Please note: your loan must be fully disbursed before you will be eligible for the Auto-Pay Discount.
Certifying the Cost of Attendance
As defined by Congress, the Cost of Attendance is an estimate of the cost to attend a particular school for one academic year. The Cost of Attendance (budget) includes tuition and fees; on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and, if applicable, dependent care. It can also include other expenses like an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer, costs related to a disability, or costs for eligible study-abroad programs.
The Cost of Attendance is determined, specifically for your situation, by the school the student is attending and may be obtained from the school's financial aid office. The financial aid office will send you an Award Letter indicating the Cost of Attendance and additional financial aid, including scholarships, grants, institutional aid and federal loans.
During the application process, you will be required to complete and certify a Private Education Loan Self Certification. On this certification, you will be asked to calculate how much you need to borrow in private loans based on the Cost of Attendance and other financial aid that you have been awarded. This is used to help promote awareness of the amount you are borrowing, as well as to prevent borrowers from borrowing more than what is needed. You should use your Award Letter from your school, as well as other information you can obtain from your financial aid portal, if possible, in completing this certification.
In addition to the Private Education Loan Self-Certification, the school will certify certain information related to the benefitting student’s enrollment. We will obtain the school certification from the school as a part of the application process. The school the benefiting student is attending must certify:
- The loan amount does not exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received.
- The loan period which the loan covers.
- The student’s enrollment status.
- The student’s grade level.
- The student’s expected graduation date.
- The disbursement dates.
- The individual disbursement amounts if the loan has multiple disbursement dates.
Sometimes the school may certify an amount different from the loan amount you request. If the amount the school certifies is higher than the amount you requested, the certification will cover the lower amount you requested, and the loan will be approved for the lower amount you requested.
If the school certifies an amount less than the amount you have requested but is within the program limits, the loan amount will be adjusted to match the amount the school certifies. This adjustment will be evident when you receive your Final Approval Disclosure as part of the loan process.
If the school certifies an amount less than the program minimum ($1,000), the loan will be denied
Applying For a Loan
Brazos Parent Loans are originated by Brazos Education Lending Corporation. When you click “Apply Now” to apply for a Brazos Loan, you will leave studentloans.com and be taken to the loan origination website for processing of your loan application.
Once your loan is fully disbursed, your loan will not be sold to an independent third party; however, Brazos Education Lending Corporation may sell your loan to another Texas non-profit company managed by Brazos Higher Education, such as Brazos Higher Education Authority.
Yes, the application process involves a “hard credit pull,” which may affect your credit score. The hard credit pull will not affect the benefiting student's credit score. We strive to provide transparent pricing. Visit our Find My Rate to see what rates are available if you qualify for a loan.
You will need:
- Proof of Texas residency (a state ID or Driver’s License). (Not a Texas resident?)
- Your social security number.
- Your student's social security number and date of birth, and the name of the school at which your student is enrolled,
- The Cost of Attendance as well as the amount of other financial aid you or your student has been awarded.
- Your permanent address.
- Proof of income (depending upon your sources of income, this may be your two most recent pay stubs, 1099 Forms, or your most recent tax return).
- One reference, different than the cosigner.
Once you submit your application, your credit will be pulled (hard credit pull) in order to pre-approve you for the loan. This pre-approval is typically an instant decision. Once you are pre-approved, you will be asked to upload documents to verify income, and residency. We estimate the process could take a few weeks, depending upon when you are applying for the loan. Having the documentation ready when you apply will help speed up the process. Once you have uploaded your documents and they have been approved, we will request certification from your school.
Repaying Your New Parent Loan
Repayment on your loan begins approximately 30 days after the final disbursement. For example, if your school has scheduled two disbursement dates for the loan, one in September and one in January, your repayment period would begin approximately 30 days after the January disbursement. If your school has only scheduled one disbursement, repayment will begin approximately 30 days after that disbursement. The timing and schedule of disbursements are determined by the school.
Interest that accrues prior to the final disbursement of the loan, if unpaid, will capitalize and be added to the principal balance of the loan upon entering repayment. Interest will also capitalize subsequently upon re-entering repayment after any period of forbearance.
Yes, you may pay interest on the loan prior to full disbursement. This can help prevent interest from being capitalized and added to the principal balance of the loan at the time the loan is fully disbursed. Please remember, however, that even if you decide to pay interest early, you will not be able to set up automatic payments and thus will not be eligile for the Auto-Pay Discount until your loan is fully disbursed.
Brazos Parent Loans are serviced by Firstmark Services, a division of Nelnet
Instructions for registering your online account will be provided to you by Firstmark Services. Once registered, you will be able to log in online and set up payments.
Tax questions are complex and you should consult your own tax advisor to answer this question. However, Brazos loans are considered student loans for federal and state tax considerations. You may or may not be eligible for deducting interest on your student loans, depending on your individual situation.
Under certain circumstances, including economic hardship, you may be eligible for loan forbearance. In this case, you may temporarily postpone making monthly loan payments for a specific period of time.
Three types of payment forbearance described below are available. Please contact your servicer, Firstmark Services, for details.
Economic hardship forbearance
Borrowers are able to defer payment on their loan for 3 months at a time, with a cumulative forbearance length of 12 months.
Borrowers on active duty may apply to have their loan payments deferred while on active duty. Cumulative military forbearance length of 36 months is available.
Natural Disaster forbearance
Borrowers affected by a natural disaster may request a forbearance of up to 12 months, in 3 month increments.
Interest continues to accrue during periods of forbearance.
No, the Brazos Parent Loan does not include any grace period.
The interest rate is the percentage of the loan amount that is charged for borrowing money. The APR includes not only the interest rate, but also certain other fees charged by the lender, and represents the total cost of borrowing. Since Brazos Parent loans have no application or origination fees, the rate and APR are the same.
No, the loan will not be placed in default or be deemed immediately due and payable in full if the primary borrower or cosigner files for bankruptcy.
We do not accelerate the debt upon the death of any party and we do not pursue the estate of a deceased individual.
If the benefitting student dies, the loan is forgiven as to all parties on the loan.
If the primary borrower on the loan dies and there is no cosigner, the loan is forgiven. If the primary borrower on the loan dies, and there is a cosigner, the primary borrower on the loan is removed and the cosigner is responsible for the repayment of the loan for the remainder of the repayment term. If the cosigner dies, the cosigner is removed from the loan, and the borrower continues to be responsible for repayment on the loan for the remainder of the repayment term.